2004-2005 "Year of Change & Uncertainty"


I continually find myself using this annual letter to you as a vehicle to look back over the previous year at accomplishments and lessons learned. As the years buzz by it seems harder to sift through the blur from year to year however; there are markers to help me keep it all in prospective.

2004 was a year for great change and uncertainty in Meisner life. It started in high excitement as the long awaited release of “Chump Change” became a reality. We all had hoped for Miramax to come through with a theatrical release, instead they opted for a financially sound DVD release. I didn’t fully realize this movies success, (of a DVD release), until I purchased a copy from China with Japanese subtitles on EBay. If you’ve seen the DVD you’ll appreciate the irony of my story in relationship to the character “Milwaukee Steve”. Steve Burrows has informed me that he will begin shooting his next film in Wisconsin this summer. (See order form or visit www.stevemeisner.com for purchases)

June brought the Minnesota Ironworld Polka Fest and the immense honor I had of being inducted into the hall of fame with a Life-time Achievement award. My good friend, Don Pasek, was just as delighted as I was to receive this honor. My personal paragon is being placed in the same hall of fame with my Dad.

Since building a recording studio at home and releasing “Forever Christmas” I took on a very rewarding project re-releasing what I believe to be my Dad’s finest recording “Happy Sounds of Verne Meisner”. This recording, thought to be lost, has been reborn and restored to more than its original glory. Growing up I derived much of my own inspiration from this recording and the men who made it. It is a personal highlight of my year and I’m delighted to be able to share it with you again. (See order form or visit www.stevemeisner.com for purchases)

March 5th & 6th, I will be hosting the 1st annual “Steve Meisner Jammin Polka Blitz” at the new Marriott West just off I-94 in Pewaukee, WI. This great event will replace my annual anniversary dances normally held in March and will feature special appearances by yours truly, the 2005 Grammy nominated Gaylord Klancnik Band, the one of kind sounds of the Eddie Rodick Band, concertina wizard Jimmy Monsen and his band, plus other guests. Please find the enclosed flyer for details and make your reservations to attend this 1st class event that you won’t want to miss!

Believe it or not, on March 5th, 2005 I will also be releasing a third new Meisner compact disk in just over 1 year. “LIVE! The way it was meant to be” is the title and that’s exactly what you get. Recorded live at Polka Ca-Ching and the Great Kewadin Casino, this is the first live recording featuring Verne & Steve “just the way you’ve enjoyed hearing them time and time again with all of the energy and great music of the live Meisner performance”. (See order form or visit www.stevemeisner.com for purchases)

I am very proud to announce that www.stevemeisner.com is celebrating its sixth year since its inception. More importantly, during this short time more than 100,000 fans have logged on to this comprehensive Meisner web site. Many thanks to my fan, friend & webmaster, Donna Katcher. Her creative foresight and diligence in the development and maintenance of this life-line to current Meisner information is warmly appreciated. GIVE HER A HAND!

Barb & I experienced family growing pains last year as our eldest, Whitney, spread her wings on her 18th birthday by moving out in preparation for her own life and continued schooling. Her absence at home was difficult for the entire family however, we have all managed to adapt in our own ways. She has now completed her first semester at a two year college, while holding a part-time job. We are very proud of her eagerness to step into adult-hood with both feet.

Lindsey received her driver’s license last April and has proven to be a very responsible teenager. She worked two different jobs through the end of the year and is currently pulling nearly an “A” average in school. She is always a tremendous helper at home and a blessing in our lives. I’ve said it before, “she is truly an angel”!

As a kid who was not hugely interested in sports it was an incredible moment, as a father, to see Austin help his baseball team to become “undisputed champions” winning every game of the season. As he moves into his teenage years this June he exhibits the classic signs of growing up. Now in the “long hair stage”, I struggle with girls calling to chat with him all the time, (only recently getting used to boys calling my daughters). I try to keep a prospective by remembering my “long hair days”. His first year of confirmation started last fall and the upside to that is, I get to church more often.

Barb continues her successful career as her company too goes through some growing pains. The company’s changes have added some stress in our life but Barb continues to manage it and balance the importance of our family. We have dealt with some unfortunate family illnesses and deaths this past year, but as I look back on the highs and lows of 2004 I am reminded just how fortunate I am to have this life and to be surrounded by loving family & friends.

I haven’t been able to spend the time needed to work on many of the business orientated projects on my list. However, I fully intend to keep my plate full this year, in spite of a weaker schedule. As I find things put off regaining importance, I realize that life has a way of putting things back into place. I am hoping to keep new and exciting Meisner happenings in your future and kindly thank you all for your constant and steadfast support.

Happiness & Health to you,

Steve Meisner